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62 Dead In Huge Forest Fire In Portugal

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And counting... The city council believes the death toll can double. It's already the deadliest fire in the country since records are kept.

 

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At least 62 people have been killed in huge forest fires in central Portugal, many dying in their cars as they tried to flee the flames.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, described the blazes – which have injured dozens more people – as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”, and warned the death toll could rise. Three days of national mouring were declared.

Several hundred firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on Saturday to tackle the fire, which broke out in the municipality of Pedrógão Grande before spreading fast.

Spain dispatched two water-bombing planes on Sunday morning to aid the Portuguese fire service, while France sent three aircraft.

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, promised to provide any assistance necessary, tweeting: “Stunned by the tragedy in Pedrógão Grande. The Portuguese people can depend on our solidarity, support and affection.”

The Iberian peninsular is sweltering under a severe heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 40C (104F) in some regions.

About 60 forest fires took hold across Portugal on Saturday night, with 1,700 firefighters battling to put them out.

The secretary of state for internal administration, Jorge Gomes, said 22 people burned to death in their cars after becoming trapped by flames on the road between Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera. Three others died from smoke inhalation.

The Portuguese government said more than 50 people were injured overall. Eighteen of them were taken to hospitals in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra. Five of them – four firefighters and a child – were seriously injured.

Gomes said the flames spread “with great violence”, moving out on four fronts.

Dry thunderstorms could have been the cause, according to Costa. The government said it was unlikely that the fires had been started deliberately.

A huge wall of thick smoke and bright red flames towered over the top of trees near houses in the wooded region. Isabel Brandao, a local resident, told the Associated Press she feared for her life.

“Yesterday we saw the fire but thought it was very far. I never thought it would come to this side,” she said. “At 3.30am, my mother-in-law woke me up quickly and we never went to sleep again. We were afraid the fire would reach us.”

Valdemar Alves, the local mayor, said he was stunned by the number of deaths. “This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we cannot remember a tragedy of these proportions,” he said.

Dozens of people who fled their homes were taken in by residents of the nearby municipality of Ansião. “There are people who arrived saying they didn’t want to die in their homes, which were surrounded by flames,” Ricardo Tristao of Ansião told reporters.

The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, tweeted: “My thoughts are with the victims in Portugal. I commend the bravery of the firefighters. EU civil protection mechanism activated and will help.”

In Rome, Pope Francis led thousands of people in silent prayer for the victims of what he called the “devastating fire” in Portugal, while the Portuguese football team offered its “deepest sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the fires”.

A number of villages were affected by the main fire and evacuation procedures had been put in place for some of them, according to Costa. Officials were not immediately able to comment on the extent of the damage. The prime minister said a period of national mourning would be announced shortly.

President Marcelo Rebelo went to the Leiria region to meet families of the victims, “sharing their pain in the name of all the Portuguese people”, he said. Firefighters did all they could when faced with the blaze, he added.

Portugal, like most of southern Europe, is prone to forest fires in the dry summer months.

The country was hit by a series of fires last year which devastated more than 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of the mainland.

Fires on the tourist island of Madeira in August killed three people, while over the course of 2016 around 40 homes were destroyed and 5,400 hectares of land burned.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/18/portugal-more-than-20-people-killed-in-forest-fires

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RIP 

All of this 'Global Warming' talk might exagerrated by some but it would be stupid to ignore it all last year same events happend in Canada

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saw this as well just now. Apparently people died in their cars fleeing the fire :o

How shit must your fate be to go like that :( .

 

RIP to those who have died. Hope death toll doesn't rise too much now. 

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8 minutes ago, HoneyNUFC said:

Saw on the news earlier that some villages are trapped and the fire is closing in.

12 people burnt alive in their cars. Horrific.

Here we have the biggest TV news channel in Portugal casually filming 2 cars where people were burnt alive during the night, including a 4 year old. The reporter then casually procedes to interview the father-in-law of one of the victims, who then informs us that the victims are still inside and around the cars. The reporter confirms he sees the victims from there. The police officer then intervenes and requests the reporter to cease recording, arguing that the area is something that should not be getting filmed. Bizarre scene, bordering on morbid.

 

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Horrible, we have had huge fires on here over the last summers as well, but nothing so deadly as this. R.I.P to all these poor people.

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Just hope it was the smoke that got them and they didn't burn alive. There can't be a worse way to die than to burn alive and see it happen to your kids as well.

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11 minutes ago, HoneyNUFC said:

Just hope it was the smoke that got them and they didn't burn alive. There can't be a worse way to die than to burn alive and see it happen to your kids as well.

Reportedly the cars crashed onto each other due to the almost non existent vision on the road. My guess is the victims went unconscious or simply physically incapable or running from the spot. But then where would they run to? Horrible scenario to think of.

On this stretch of road alone, there are 30 confirmed fatalities. A chain accident with multiple cars involved.

T7AFvuh.png

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Apocalyse stuff this, hard to see how they can be prevented when temperatures reach such heights.

Is 40 degrees common in Portugal, that's like Dubai temperature.

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2 hours ago, The Artful Dodger said:

Apocalyse stuff this, hard to see how they can be prevented when temperatures reach such heights.

Is 40 degrees common in Portugal, that's like Dubai temperature.

40 is common during the summer, specially in the center and south, but not so much in mid June.

Authorities are saying a dry thunderstorm started the fire.

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I've been watching this all day on Spanish tv and it's just terrible.  Some of the stories are disastrous and heart killers!

How must've those families felt when in their cars and seeing that inferno engulf them.  I don't even want to think about it.

RIP to all those that are no longer with us and my heart goes out to those critically ill.

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7 hours ago, Machado said:

And counting... The city council believes the death toll can double. It's already the deadliest fire in the country since records are kept.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/18/portugal-more-than-20-people-killed-in-forest-fires

Damn, don't you blokes import a lot of eucalyptus trees from Australia? I wouldn't be surprised if that was also a factor.

I've been near a huge bushfire back home, no one died but it is scary stuff. The midnight sky was deep red for hours.

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7 minutes ago, Spike said:

Damn, don't you blokes import a lot of eucalyptus trees from Australia? I wouldn't be surprised if that was also a factor.

I've been near a huge bushfire back home, no one died but it is scary stuff. The midnight sky was deep red for hours.

What sort of advice do they give you? Particularly about using vehicles? I would have thought the road would act as some sort of break but I suppose the winds bypass it?

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3 hours ago, HoneyNUFC said:

What sort of advice do they give you? Particularly about using vehicles? I would have thought the road would act as some sort of break but I suppose the winds bypass it?

Fuck me, I should know things like this given that my step-father is a volunteer firefighter. The bush is a lot more open a forest would be, generally I'd say you're safe flooring your car on the roads as long as the fire hasn't spread to across it, which it often does because those eucalyptus trees practically explode and roar fiery death. Though if you're out bush bashing and caught in a fire, you're up shit creek without a paddle. It's a brutally harsh environment, it really doesn't forgive.

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3 months later... another 35 dead. Labeled as the "worst day ever" by the civil protection. There has never been so much area burnt in a single day.

Quote

 

Portugal fires: State of EMERGENCY declared as 35 people die including one-month-old baby

The official death toll from more than 500 separate blazes, 110 of them recorded after midnight yesterday, rose from six in the morning as rescuers reached villages razed by flames.

A one-month-old baby reported missing was found dead this afternoon afternoon - leaving seven people still unaccounted for last night as experts said the number of fatalities was bound to increase over the coming hours.

Fifty-six people were injured in the wildfires in central and northern Portugal, 16 of them seriously.

The mass tragedy happened nearly three months to the day after forest fires which broke out in the central town of Pedrogao Grande killed 64 people and injured more than 250.

Yesterday’s total of 523 separate blazes in a single day marked a black record so far this year in Portugal, prompting a new round of national soul-searching amid criticism of fire prevention systems and the response of Civil Protection leaders and government chiefs.

Portugal’s Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Souza rejected calls she should resign, insisting going would be an easier option so she could enjoy the summer holidays she never had but now “was a time for action and not reaction.”

(...)

Spain was also grieving today after wildfires in its north-west region of Galicia killed four people, two women who died when their a burning pine tree fell on their van and two men including a pensioner who lost his life trying to save his animals.

Some of the fires, fuelled by high winds brought in by the tail-end of Hurricane Ophelia and high temperatures after a period of draught, crossed into Spain from Portugal.

Galicia’s neighbouring province of Asturias in northern Spain was also badly affected, although there were no reports of any loss of life.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy travelled to Galicia, the region he was born in despite his ongoing battle to stop Catalan leaders trying to declare independence.

Galicia’s president Alberto Nunez Feijoo blamed the wildfires, 20 of which were still threatening populated areas this afternoon afternoon, on organised “firestarter terrorists” he said “can kill and kill”, echoing the claims of authorities in Portugal who said arson or human negligence was also to blame for many of their forest fires.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/866956/Portugal-and-Spain-wildfires-nine-perish-fears-number-may-rise

 

Surreal picture this one.

22449719_1855166714511591_25426658587656

 

Edited by Machado
  • Sad 1

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I've seen some intense bush fires (they've lit black night sky deep red) but that is something else. 

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15 minutes ago, HoneyNUFC said:

They're saying there are fire tornados. 

Hell on earth in Portugal.

 

 

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Galicia and Asturias are going through hell on earth too. RIP to all both in Portugal and North Western Spain... My heart goes out to those who’ve lost loved ones and everything they own.

The worst thing is that it seems it’s all been intentional and due to the lack of rain this summer, it’s been a bed for hell. 

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2 hours ago, Machado said:

3 months later... another 35 dead. Labeled as the "worst day ever" by the civil protection. There as never so much area burnt in a single day.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/866956/Portugal-and-Spain-wildfires-nine-perish-fears-number-may-rise

 

Surreal picture this one.

22449719_1855166714511591_25426658587656

 

that looks scary as fuck. apocalyptic. 

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This shite is happening in California too. Disneyland had raining ash (which is pretty metal) and the air quality in the SF bay area went to total shit (and flights were canceled). I don't know how many were dead, but there's a lot of people missing as well.

I didn't realise that forest fires were normal in Portugal... but these ones are obviously very bad and that's a lot of people dead. Dry winds & high heat are the cause of this and when the fires get out of control, which they do very rapidly with dry winds, it becomes a fucking nightmare to deal with.

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